Cover The best eco-friendly and ocean-safe options you can buy in Hong Kong. (Image: Courtesy of Raw Elements via Instagram)

We all know that applying SPF is a must––both when the sun shines and when it doesn't––but how much thought have you put into what's in your sunscreen? Here we round up 8 of the best eco-friendly and ocean-safe options you can buy in Hong Kong

Sunscreen is a staple during the summer months, and though we should be wearing some form of sun protection year round, the warmer months of the year are really when it comes into its own. Especially in Hong Kong––with months ahead of us featuring beach days, hikes and island explorations––it pays to pay a little more attention to the ingredient list of our sunscreens.
Recent studies show that the common ingredients of oxybenzone and octinoxate are amongst the biggest culprits that lead to coral bleaching, with many of the other main ingredients in your everyday sunscreens also potentially toxic to marine life. But with so many advances in recent years in the world of SPF, we can now happily and safely reach for products that offer comprehensive sun protection and non-greasy formulas, with the added bonus being that many brands now offer ocean-friendly mineral and non-nano zinc oxide formulas.

So, the next time you take a dip in the ocean––be it in Hong Kong or somewhere further flung––opt for one of these reef-safe sunscreens.

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Avasol Surfer’s Barrier Sunscreen Stick SPF50+

This maximum-strength formula by Avasol is safe and effective, offering SPF50+ sun protection.
The stick formula is packaged in recycled paper––ensuring that the design won’t become another single use plastic left on the beach––with the formula containing only natural, organic and wildcrafted raw ingredients, with no nanoparticles, GMOs, parabens, petrochemicals or synthetic chemicals. Available in a light, tan and dark, the sunscreen also offers up a little extra coverage, along with UV protection.
Available at Live Zero

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Thinksport SPF50 Sunscreem

Water resistant and promising SPF50+ protection, Thinksport’s zinc oxide formula is not only vegan and not tested on animals, but is free from phthalates, parabens, oxybenzones, toxins and formaldehyde for a cleaner sun care option for both you and the environment.

Available at iHerb

See also: Hong Kong Water Sports: Your Guide To Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Wake Boarding And More

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Raw Elements Face & Body Sunscreen SPF 30+

Packaged in a reusable and recyclable tin, Raw Element’s Face & Body Sunscreen is made from certified all-natural ingredients and provides SPF30+ UVA-UVB protection.

Reef-safe and biodegradable, the zinc oxide formula is gentle, moisturising and packed full of biologically active antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and extracts.

Available at Live Zero

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Coola Full Spectrum 360 Sun Silk Drops SPF30

This organic sunscreen does so much more than just look great on your shelf. Pretty and pink packaging aside, Coola’s mineral sunscreen features plant-derived full spectrum 360° complex which helps mitigate the effects of HEV blue light, IR, and pollution––along with offering SPF30 protection.

The breathable serum is perfect for wearing under makeup, with the added bonus of the product being vegan, cruelty free, reef-safe and free from parabens.

Available at Cult Beauty

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Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF30

Sticking to the brand’s philosophy of using only ingredients that directly benefit your skin’s health––and never testing on animals––Drunk Elephant’s Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is fragrance-free, paraben-free and sulphate-free, vitamins, with the naturally-derived alternative, zinc oxide formula being kinder on the environment.
Formulated with potent antioxidants like astaxanthin, grape juice extract and sunflower shoot extract, and infused with raspberry seed and marula oils, the sunscreen promises to offer SPF30 protection, along with keeping your skin moisturised and helping to minimise the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Those looking for some extra coverage, can opt for the Tinted Umbra™ Physical Daily Defense.

Available at Cult Beauty

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Caudalie Milky Sun Spray SPF50

New from skincare favourite Caudalie, Milky Sun Spray not only offers SPF50 protection, but also promises to prevent the appearance of sunspots.
It’s innovative “Ocean-Protect” sun care filter system provides a clean and safe solution in terms of sun protection, safety and the environment. Enriched with grape-seed polyphenols, Vitamin E and spruce extract, this eco-friendly spray also provides powerful anti-wrinkle action by stimulating cellular defences through its patented antioxidant complex.
Available at Cult Beauty

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Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF30

If you have sensitive skin, Bobo Botanicals is the brand to try. Specifially-formulated to be a safe option for babies, children and adults, the hypoallergenic sunscreen is perfect for both full body and face application.

Not only vegan and cruelty-free, the extra-sensitive clear zinc sunscreen features SPF30 protection, along with being both eco-friendly and reef-safe.

Available at iHerb

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Pai Hello Sunshine: Sensitive Sunscreen SPF30

Another option for sensitive skin, Pai's Hello Sunshine SPF30 can be worn under makeup for everyday sun protection––with the mild formula suitable for both acne and eczema-prone skin.

Brimming with organic ingredients, this mineral sunscreen uses zinc oxide to protect from the suns rays, making it safe and non-toxic for marine life. 

Available at Sephora

See also: 9 Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands You Can Buy In Hong Kong